Flurry: soon two thirds of premium and in-app purchase revenues will be generated by apps outside the top 100

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By Kathleen De Vere Comments

The distribution of revenue generated by mobile apps is becoming a little more democratic, according to Flurry. The mobile analytics provider’s latest report shows that although the top 25 ranked apps on iOS and Android generated 28 percent of premium and in-app purchase revenues in 2010, the top 25 apps will only be responsible for 15 percent of all those revenues in 2012.

Flurry put the report together by analyzing the non-advertising earnings of over 200,000 apps on iOS and Android, using data from the first half of 2012 to create estimates for the second half.

In 2010 the top 100 ranked iOS and Android apps generated the majority of premium and in-app purchase revenues, but that picture is changing. Flurry is predicting that by the end of 2012, more than two thirds of premium and in-app purchase revenues will be created by apps outside the top 100.

Inside the top 100, Flurry found apps in the middle of the charts are also earning more money relative to their chart positions than they were two years ago. While a developer with a No. 1 ranked app is earning far more than it would have been with a No. 1 ranked app two years ago, Flurry found since 2010, the drop-off in earnings for apps outside the top 10 has become much less dramatic. This means the apps stores of 2012 see much less earnings concentration at the top, with apps all the way up to the No. 80 position generating higher earnings.

Flurry’s findings are in line with earlier reports from Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment about the earning potential of apps outside the top 100. In June, Remedy revealed its game Death Rally is earning up to $350,000 a month just for being in the top 200 of the iTunes paid app charts, making it possible to earn more than $1 million in a year, even if an app never makes the top 10 on the iTunes app store charts.

Overall, the news is very good for developers, particularly ones that haven’t been able to produce a chart topping app.  While the biggest revenues are still found at the top of the app store charts, Flurry’s study lends weight to what we’ve been hearing for some time — that its becoming possible to generate steady earnings without a highly ranked app.